By Kathleen Woodward
IF YOU’RE an animal lover like me, you may be interested to know that there are many natural ways to repel pests from your yard without harming any wildlife. With very little effort it is easy to find a wealth of resources on the subject.
Here are some tips from people who say these tactics worked for them.
• Keep lids secured or store garbage in the garage–especially overnight–or pour ammonia or pepper in them to discourage foraging. Don’t leave pet food or water bowls outside.
• Keep Raccoons and other animals out of attics by trimming tree limbs and plants away from roofs and foundation walls.
• If a wild animal has made a nest on your property or in your attic, place ammonia-soaked rags near the nest site, shine a light continuously on the nest and place a radio nearby tuned to loud music.
• Deter rodents with a mixture of salad oil, garlic, horseradish and cayenne pepper. Let this sit for four days, strain it into a spray bottle and spray on desired area. Cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil work well, as do moth balls.
• Clean below bird feeders, as seed can attract scavengers such as raccoons and skunks. Restrict rodents’ access to other sources of food, such as pet food, garden seed and fertilizers.
• Pick up fruit as soon as it has fallen from the trees.
• Limit the use of mulch, which holds insects that wildlife will dig through to find.
• Check your deck, and block or screen off any entry points that allow wildlife access.
• Make sure your chimney is capped.
• Keep your lawn grub-free and you will prevent raccoons, skunks and opossums from tearing up your lawn to feast on them.
• Sprinkle plants with Epsom salts or cayenne pepper to deter wildlife from eating them.
• To keep animals out of your garden, erect a chicken-wire fence at least 36 inches above the ground and 12 inches below the ground. Bend the underground portion away from the garden in an L shape to prevent animals from burrowing under the fence.
• Small flags, mylar taping and other highly visible materials which blow in the wind can be used as geese inhibitors.
• To deter deer, try blood meal, thorny bushes–or Jerry Baker’s “Deer Buster Egg Tonic” recipe: 2 eggs, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper and 2 tablespoons of hot sauce in 2 cups of water. Let set for 2 days, then spray your plants to the point of run-off.
• Plant narcissus bulbs; deer don’t like them.
• Plant daffodils, spurge and castor bean plants to deter moles.
• To repel chipmunks, try sprinkling bloodmeal around the garden, or scatter dog or cat hair around the area.
• To keep squirrels from causing damage and away from specific areas, try sprinkling dried blood meal around your planting area.
• Plant soybeans to lure rabbits from your main crop. Onions and garlic can be interplanted with lettuce, peas or beans to keep them away. Also, tansy, rue and rosemary interplanted in flower beds are repellents.
• Sprinkle blood meal around the edges of the garden to protect it from rabbits. Shake raw ground limestone, wood ashes, ground pepper, chile powder, talcum powder or cayenne pepper on plants when they are wet, applying them with a flour sifter.
• The best protection from rabbit damage in a garden is a tight chicken-wire fence. Portable chicken wire frames can be used as a temporary measure to protect young cabbage, tomato and pepper seedlings.
• Protect your corn by interplanting cucumbers, gourds, pumpkins or summer squash — Raccoons will not walk on the prickly vines. Sprinkle ripening corn with cayenne pepper or baby powder, or dab the silks with a stocking that has perfume on it.–Detroit News